Today we meet Miles Thompson: musician, sound engineer, and new FoPo resident. Miles has been working hard to make something happen at the Bobwhite Theatre, with an emphasis on music and some form of shared community space. If you’d like to get involved or hear more about his efforts, you can email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Knowing our neighbors makes for a brighter and safer community. Who are you, and what is your connection to the neighborhood (resident, business owner, neighborhood advocate, etc)?
I am an electrical engineer, trumpet player, and sound engineer professionally. I decided to buck the corporate engineering world a few years ago and I am now mostly doing audio electronics repair and some contracting design work out of my house. I play in a blues band called the Fenix Project every wednesday night at the Blue Diamond as well as some other gigs here and there, and I just got back from a short tour with March Fourth Marching Band subbing for one of their trumpet players. I have been doing sound professionally for concerts and festivals for 13 years, my sound system is currently in the Bobwhite theater so we can put on some shows. Other than that I am an extremely community oriented individual, I’d love to meet any of you interested in fostering community here!
My connection to the area (other than being a new resident) is the Bobwhite theater. I have been working with Nick Storie for a few months now trying to figure out how to open the doors and make something happen in this amazing space. My dream is a community supported effort that would be more stable than simply a music venue. I think that if we all put our heads together and think of some great ways to occupy the space as a community, we can get the thing off the ground. I am still in brainstorming mode about this, I would LOVE to hear any of your ideas. Maybe a few small businesses can move in as well as dance classes/yoga/rehearsal space/community gatherings/farmer’s market/music/bar/restaurant/etc… I’m not sure how to start gathering this community base here, but I’m all ears (and lots of ideas of my own and excitement for the project), maybe this profile is the start! Drop me a line.
How long have you lived or worked in the neighborhood, and what do you think makes it unique?
I have only lived in the area for 2 months now. I am excited to see all the potential in the area and community energy here. I feel that Foster is about to become a very lively place. It is currently affordable to live here, so we get everyone from youth to 30 something families to older folks. There is a great diversity that I believe is a huge strength of the area. I have been wandering around meeting people and talking about the Bobwhite theater. Everyone that I’ve talked to is really excited about the venue and wanting to help out. This is really encouraging to me to be surrounded by a community that is willing to put some effort in to make this a better place for all of us!
What are your favorite neighborhood haunts (for food, shopping, walks, drinking, entertainment, etc)?
I haven’t been too many places yet, but I tend to end up at O’Malleys a lot (in fact I went to college with one of the bar tenders it turns out), Bar Carlo for food and drinks, the food carts, and Slingshot as it’s right next to my house. I am getting involved with the Bobwhite theater, trying to get something going there, so I have been spending a lot of time in the theater as well.
It’s a fact, our neighborhood is pretty rad. How do we keep it that way…and then some (i.e. enhance our parks, more n’hood events, more businesses, less tweakers, etc)?
Well, as I mentioned, I would like to see the Bobwhite turned into a community venue. I believe if the venue is up and running it could bring a lot of foot traffic to the area and help out all the surrounding businesses. It would also attract people from out of the area to come down and see what a cool place we have here.
I am a huge proponent of events in general, especially community oriented events. The more we can get the community out in the area and together meeting each other, the better our neighborhood will become. This day and age, we spend way too much time by ourselves at home in front of the computer or TV, and not enough time out in the hood. The more we’re out, the better businesses will do and the less tweakers and problems we will have.
Also, the more money we spend at local business instead of elsewhere, the better our neighborhood will be. My dad is a huge proponent of buy local, so I’ve been indoctrinated with this growing up. I can’t remember the exact numbers, but he says that for every dollar spent at a local business 70 cents or so stays in the local economy. For every dollar at non local businesses, about 30 cents stays in the local economy. This is really important to keeping our local economy healthy. Buy on Foster! Now if only we had a good local health food store…
If you had a bajillion dollars (ok, a million) to spend on Foster, what would you do with it?
I would create a space in the area that would foster the arts and community events (maybe the Bobwhite theater 🙂 ). I have always dreamed of building an organization and a space that could support artists (visual, dance, music, etc…) in such a way that they could live comfortably while actually being artists (not squishing art into their spare time). I think there is a appalling lack of both support for artists and places for community events to occur in our lives. We have this amazing space in the area, let’s figure out how to make it work for us.
Many of my ideas center around passing around as much value as possible without exchanging much money. How can we cooperate in such a way that we can bring immense value to the area without a lot of money exchanging hands?
If you could pick a theme song for the neighborhood, or choose a celebrity that best exemplifies the character of it, what/who would it be?
Well, I don’t pay any attention to celebrities… as for a song, well, I’ll just choose one that exemplifies what I’d like to see. How about the Sesame Street “Who are the People in Your Neighborhood” song?!? Lol, bringing it back!